If the Shoe Fits
My work as a freelance writer gives me the opportunity to meet interesting and insightful people. Whether I am having a conversation with the average “Joe,” interviewing an event organizer, or talking with experts in various fields, the people become more than just sources – they become very human during an interview.
Even though as a journalist my job is to stay objective, there is something personal about each interview I conduct. The information this person is sharing usually contains personal experiences, feelings, beliefs, and advice. Almost always after an interview, I reflect and compare my personal experiences and try and put myself in the subject’s shoes.
Today, the shoes fit, but at the same time, the shoes made me uncomfortable – comparable to the perfect looking shoe in a narrow fit when I need wide-toed shoes.
While working on an article for a parenting magazine – focused on what college freshman and their parents should expect – I talked with a mother-daughter team of authors. Margo Bane Woodacre and Steffany Bane spent five years chronicling Steffany’s journey from a high school senior to a college graduate, ultimately resulting in a co-authored book entitled I’ll Miss You Too: An Off-to-College Guide for Parents and Students.
What makes this book unique and our conversation so rich is that it portrays the journey of a college student from both the student and parent perspective, evaluating the emotional and social aspects of this turning point in a child’s life. Both Margo and Steffany discussed the struggles they faced as a family – Steffany’s need for independence, Margo’s difficulty with letting go, Steffany’s adjustment to a new environment, and Margo’s efforts to keep continued communication with her daughter.
After our discussions, I thought about my daughter and the current journey we are facing through her tween years. I thought about the years ahead when I will lose my child to college, have to learn how to let go, and fight my sadness in order to encourage her excitement – all sentiments Margo expressed.
And then I thought about the students in my classroom everyday. The journey they are embarking on at this very moment is a scary exploration of identity, an exciting quest for knowledge, and a road of uncertainty. I’ve always looked at them as adults rather than someone else’s child. I see them as independent, strong individuals working toward a brighter future – all characteristics I want for my own children as adults.
Even though the thought of my daughter leaving home in seven years terrifies me right now, I realized that, like the shoes that are a little tight and uncomfortable, we can still walk the road and find a way to the end of the journey – we’ll probably stumble a little and complain along the way, but the shoes will still fit and look fabulous.
– Shannon Philpott
Blog Entry: Aug. 27, 2009
© Shannon Philpott, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and shannonphilpott.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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